Thursday, March 31, 2011


the baby loves phones, cameras, computers all things electronic. he has started imitating us talking on the phone which is just so cute! he will use anything as a phone. this is an old phone that he carries around every where jabbering into. i love this stage.

i also love how high and huge his hair is right now....

we also got some horrible news this week about the babies mom. she is back on the streets and we are not even sure where she is living or what has happened. and we are so sad and devastated. at the moment we are not sure how this will change things.

stable play...

we went to visit a friend who works at a fabulous stable in the area. and played with the beautiful horses, hay and even some babies. So cute!! there was one 4 week old with the most beautiful face.

it felt like a little piece of Wyoming!

love all three of these one year old babies just watching us!! it was a great evening out.

Monday, March 21, 2011

14 months

Chris and I laugh so hard with this little guy. What a silly but sweet personality. I love how much he learns each day. I work in the child development field so I check in with milestones often. and every time I think he might be low in an area within the week he is doing something to change the outcome. We thought because of his early days and well the pregnancy that he might have some delays but he is doing so well.

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He is imitating things like talking on the phone and will have a complete babble conversation with any toy or object. too cute.

He is doing more and more baby signs which has been really funny because he does them on purpose not on cue and then he laughs because he knows he is smart.

He still loves books and will sit in our lap and enjoy a number of books at one sitting.


(a friend gave us this little reebox outfit)

He took his first steps this month. Which is so funny because he has always been so active we thought he would be an early walker but he has been very, very cautious when it comes to going on his own.

He loves to point at body parts. His favorites this month are not only head (he definitely has that one down) but eyes, noise, ears and mouth. Probably because he loves head, shoulders, knees and toes and we have to sing it 50 times a day. Or he will just continue to pat his head.

He gives the best hugs and kisses, wakes us happy and giggling, and will go into any one's arms and give them a body hug. He waves goodbye and still blows the occasional kiss.

He loves animals; dogs and kittens and music; piano, drums, shakers, anything really that will make a noise.

He started squealing more and more. and yelling GAK, GAK...he has always been a silly babbler but it is out of control sometimes. And the inflection in his voice is so funny.

He loves games like peek-a-boo or try and catch me and especially wrestling with dada. I wish we could get a good video of this because it is the funniest thing I have ever seen. Chris will lay down on his back and instantly the baby will crawl madly over and crawl all over him. Rolling, laughing and even sitting on his face. We laugh and joke that he is taking dada down and he just giggles. Boys? I don't get it but he loves it.

He is obsessed with all things that move; cars, trains, trucks and will spend hours driving his cars around the house or even church. Such a boy!

I love his little teeth with the space in front. it adds to his personality. And how pudgy his little body still is even though he is thinning out. We love his silly (fake) giggle and how he is so active and loud.

We are lucky parents to have such a loving and easy going little guy. He has been through a lot but still keeps his smiley, giggly personality every waking moment and we love him so much!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


all smiles copy

This was from January but with the computer down I am just now getting to ALL of the pictures. I have taken a ton...of the baby.

We are learning more and more about this system and how much of it needs to change. We do recognize that it is what it is and we cannot but we are motiviated to get involved. Maybe lobbing in Albany for NY state law to change a little?? Something. But that will have to be another day or year.

We spent 4 and half hours on Monday at court and then in a meeting with bio mom and everyone involved in the case. Mind you this is one family! Meaning hundreds of thousands of dollars and probably many more hours are being spent on this particular case. It makes me mad just thinking about it. Things are changing and we hope for the good in our future but we fear that it will take a very long time and will be a battle.

We got there at 8:30am to check in and hopefully be one of the first cases to be heard by our judge. No such luck! We sat until 11:30 waiting for bio moms lawyer, the law guardian and who knows what or who else. We just sat there. We did talk with bio mom and actually had some coherent conversations. We met the legal father....interesting. We talked with the CASA worker, the law guardian. Other lawyers and families waiting. We watched tv, we tried to take a little nap. Argh...and waited some more.

After all this we got in there and the arguments began. 20 minutes later we were done. Bio moms lawyer argued that the information/written instructions given to bio mom were unclear and that is why she has not been successful in taking are of the baby. We not only write it out every visit but we verbally explain it to her as well. She also has a visit worker to help her and sometimes CASA or parent educator one on one. (and she still cannot understand?). The lawyer requested that a new typed form be given every visit and that a recorder be offered to help bio mom. She then argued that the parent educator courses that bio mom is taking is not specific enough for her to gain the knowledge she needs to care for him. (he is a really easy going baby BTW). She also talked about specific instances, in question bio mom about them, bio mom did not remember doing those things and so the lawyer petitioned the county to get neurological testing done. They know she has memory gaps.

All in all nothing has changed. We have him for 6 more months until the next permanency hearing and in that time we just continue. Really? Why are we taking all this time and energy. In the same breath I realize that this is good for us too. It shows we have given her every opportunity and chance. It gives the county time to complete the TPR (temination of parental rights) and to document ongoing struggles.

So we just wait....and enjoy the fatman!!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Help to Japan

There are so many ways we can help those suffering in Japan. Chris and I decided that we could forego a few dates or enjoyments to make a larger donation. And this is an easy link to donate where 100% of what you give will go to those in need and we trust that it will be used not only for them but stretched to make the most out of every penny.
We have also discussed our family safety plan and added a few things to not only our emergency kits but our food storage. May we keep the people of Japan in our prayers and may we also heed the warnings and be prepared for ourselves.
(click on the picture or the post title)

first steps

Baby boy is so proud of himself and we love watching him figure it out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a walk

we had beautiful weather today so we took off for a walk through the neighborhood. i love it and look forward to so many more, walks, runs and hikes! he loved it; the cars, the people, a few dogs and the birds were chirping.

And we ended with a little song of head, shoulders, knees and toes! what a character.

good friends

we have been more social in the last week than in the previous 6 months. Seriously, Sunday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and plans for this weekend. whoo..We are so grateful for good friends! These pictures just make me laugh.
The baby was being so funny with everyone these last few days and weeks. This night he was loving our friends foster baby. He made sure all night that he had a toy in his mouth. And then was so excited that he had shared, he would clap his hands. I wish I had gotten a video of the older children but the baby wore himself out "driving" their cars around with them. So cute! I love his little personality and how social he is. Hugs, kisses, waves and tons of giggles and smiles for friends but also for strangers.

birthday boy

March is a busy month for birthdays! Chris had a great one.

Chris has biscuits and gravy for breakfast in bed, went to work, and then we all went out to dinner. Then we headed to our friends house for a fun hang out night. We got his favorite carrot cake with cheesecake icing and opened presents. We are pretty boring but it was a good day. We love you dada and hope you had a great day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

the road

well, we are riding high on hope these days because things have turned around a little. which is great but also challenging not to get our HOPES up too high.
The judge stopped overnights with his bio mom. this is a huge miracle and blessing! we have a permanency hearing on Monday which means she has 6 more months. the county is filing the TPR (termination of parental rights) which again is a huge blessing but we were told that this might not go any where. everything takes so much time! The legal father surrendered his rights. Another huge blessing. And bio mom moved to another rehab center. Time will tell how she adjusts to all the changes there. Her goal for this month was to take care of her personal hygiene and room 90% of the time without being reminded. For us this really shows where bio mom is at and where she needs to be. The most frustrating thing for me is the affect even short visits have on the baby. She cannot get him to take a nap and most days cannot feed him. We write everything down for her and verbally explain it to her but it is still too much. We have also learned so much about bio mom's history and what really brought her to this place. It is really difficult but it does bring some clarity to why she treats us the way she does and some of the struggles that she has. It is really nice to feel anyway that the courts are on our side. It might not stay that way but we are grateful for this moment.
We have had to learn to let go of what we cannot control. At the moment we are simply trusting the Lord and trying to watch for his hand in our lives. But our faith has been renewed and we are feeling very hopeful. And we are grateful for the experiences that help us to grow.

good times

ah! Lisa
This week was so busy and crazy that I did something really smart-that is my excuse. I finished at work early one day this week and ran over to pick up the baby early. Chris usually gets the baby because it is on the way home for him. So I get there we play and chat for a little and we make a run to the car because it was a sleeting mess outside I throw open the door and realize that I do not have the car seat! What. How did I overlook this. I call Chris who has been so busy at work and cannot come to rescue us right away. I debate my options. Can I drive home with him strapped in very carefully. Or bring him back in and leave him, go home and see him 2 hours later when Chris can leave. Ah! That is embarrassing. So we play in the car for a while, a long while until Chris comes to save us. I got many weird looks but we had a good time laughing and singing. ah! Lisa....that was a good one.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


-I am grateful for the peace in my life right now

-I am grateful for a supportive and loving family, even though they are far, far away!

-I am grateful for time to do something creative

-I am grateful for the hints of spring that we see and hear

-I am grateful that we have a clean, safe, warm and beautiful home that is truly a haven

-I am grateful to be a mother to the sweetest little pudge of a kid

-I am grateful that Chris has a good job and mostly grateful for mine!

-I am grateful for 7 years of marriage to a wonderful person who helps me to dream and pushes me to do more

-I am grateful for a supportive little branch that teaches us and stretches us to be more

-I am grateful for the people that have step into our lives in very unique ways but who are just so amazing

-I am grateful for the kisses, body hugs and smiles of a little baby!

-And I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of our little family and strengthens us to endure.

watching miss america on the tv! he liked it.

we found him awake covered by his blanket, no socks and working hard to get his bottle in his mouth. we hated to laugh but it was really funny!

Monday, March 7, 2011

the fam

we had such a great time with everyone in AZ

the baby misses his playmates so much and is bored hanging out with just us





they sure have some beautiful children!

I love this photo!

Make do & mend

use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!

my grandma durrant used to say this phrase all the time and i really like the idea of being less of a consumer. i am discouraged by how we live in america and value that people place on items.

there are countless supporters, blogs, articles and even interviews about this non consumer way of life. I am not into extremes but i can appreciate cutting back a little and see what they are advocating.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I am so glad...

that February is over!

March gives me hope that spring is real and will really come. not much but just a little hint!
Plus I thought we all needed a little kiss for Mr. Potato Head.

a little sunshine!

I think we brought colds and coughs to everyone in Arizona but man we needed the sunshine and family! We had a great winter trip to see the Packer family.

baby boyo did really well on the flights considering we arrived there at 1:00am our time. he slept a little and cried but just a little; not too bad!

Thursday we had a great session in the Mesa temple for some very special family members. It was a great experience.

check out the full moon and those palm trees. after the session I apparently got dressed really fast and not seeing anyone I went out front. there was a homeless lady asking for money. I tried to explain to her that this building and these grounds were a sacred place. She yelled at me that all she need was a few dollars (had I had any money I would have given her some-sorry) And then security escorted her off calling her by name. It was really very funny.

love ellie bellie's boots and hair! What a girl...we had a great time just hanging out, watching movies, playing games on the wii, talking, a few shopping trips and yummy food!

poor sweet baby paul is getting malled by fatman. but I love this picture....

With all the cousins to play with and new places to see the baby slept pretty well. It took a few days to adjust though.

these are only the pictures from my phone so more photos of the family to come.
But thanks Cami + family for a fabulous much needed break and your loving support. We miss you all so much.

7 years

this was a fun anniversary to think about where we have come and what we have been through.
Happy Anniversary!

we were talking with a friend about marriage and how things work and what is hard about it. it was really fun to stop and think about how far we have come. chris appreciates most having someone on his team no matter what. i appreciate having someone who listens to me, takes care of me and loves me unconditionally because i make a lot of mistakes and am not the easiest person to live with. we have been through so much that we never take it lightly and what we know about each other now is so much more than when we were dating. you build a life together with the every day experiences and struggles. i appreciate going through that with chris by my side; it is easier and even more enjoyable!
And I am grateful for the power that the temple brings as a reminder of our eternal covenants to each other and the Lord.